Exclusive report | Regime government imposes more taxes over Syrian civilians, attempting to cover the General State Budget shortfall • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Exclusive report | Regime government imposes more taxes over Syrian civilians, attempting to cover the General State Budget shortfall

As the Syrian regime government is attempting to cover the financial shortfall plagued the General State Budget due to Syria’s international isolation, the US sanctions, including Caesar Act, and other factors, it has imposed more taxes and fees and raised prices. Many analysts see these procedures deliberately impoverish the Syrian civilians just for covering the General State Budget shortfall.


Since early 2021, the regime’s government has imposed a series of taxes with the aim to cover the financial shortfall at any cost, including the “abstention tax” imposed by the Minister of Finance in the Syrian regime, Kan’an Yaghi, on the unaccomplished processes of selling real estate. This decision stipulates for paying the value of this tax by the seller who abstained or revokes decision to accomplish the sale of his unit.


Another tax imposed recently by the Syrian regime’s government on the people who wanted to get a document proving that they had COVID-19 vaccine. Accordingly, everyone wants to issue this document has to pay 20,000 SYL.


Regime government also imposed taxes approximate 100 USD on every family wants to hire foreign housekeepers.


Another tax dubbed “reconstruction tax” has been also imposed on the customers of restaurants and coffee shops and the people who receive remittances through currency exchange shop. According to SOHR sources, these taxes have reached 2,650 SYL deducted directly from every remittance transferred to people inside the areas under the control of regime forces, and they reached 15% of the total value of each bill in restaurants and coffee shops in these areas.


In July 2020, the regime’s government had imposed a tax of an estimated 100 USD on the Syrian migrants who wanted to return to Syria, under a decision issued by the Prime Minister. The decision exempted the children under the age of 18 and the truck drivers. While the government canceled, in May 2021, the customs exemptions to luggage brought by the new comers who planned to stay permanently in Syria and imposed fees on this luggage.


These taxes and other procedures have made the civilians living in areas under the control of the Syrian regime shoulder extra burden, along with the acute lack of basic essentials and the astronomically inflated prices which have led to a major wave of immigration.


In a testimony to SOHR, a civilian known as A. S. from Hama city talked about the dire living situations of the Syrian citizens. The man said “I dream of leaving Syria as soon as possible and flee from these disastrous conditions. The taxes and fees imposed by the Syrian regime government have exhausted the civilians. The people have to pay for everything they want to do, as they have to pay for facilitating procedures in governmental institutions, licensing shops and cars. Taxes have been imposed even on food, and this was not unfamiliar, as regime government had imposed taxes on civilians before the Syrian war. However, the recent pressure exerted by the government on civilians, especially the young men, has become unbearable, so the country is experiencing an alarming wave of legal and illegal immigration. In general, the living situation in Syria is deteriorating, and there are no workable solutions looming in the horizon.”


The Syrian regime government seems satisfied with the taxes it collects and the looting of the Syrian people’s money. Moreover, regime authorities have exploited the Syrian refugees’ fear of being deported to Syria from European countries and attempt, through the Syrian consulates in these countries, to persuade them to issue documents exempting them from mandatory service in Syria in return for large sums of money, according an investigative report published by the British daily newspaper, “The Guardian”.


The newspaper’s report also stated that the Syrian regime government adopted this policy to cover the financial shortfall, as the government issued Syrian passports for Syrian citizens living in European countries and issued documents exempting them from the mandatory service in return for large sums of money. According to the Guardian’s report, the Syrian embassy in Sweden received 10 to 50 applications of exemption from military service presented by Syrian refugees living in Sweden.


It is worth noting that the Syrian regime government is struggling with a considerable financial shortfall and critical economic hardship due to the US sanctions and the ruling class’s dominance of the General State Budget and the Syrian economy in general, which have reflected in the civilians’ dire living conditions, the currency plunge and the prohibitively high prices.

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